Our Past and Present / Nuestro Pasado y Presente
We all have a past. In order to understand ourselves it is important to understand our past.
Our hispanic community is a product of Spanish colonialism.
We are mestizos, meaning our ancestors were of Spanish and Mexican indigenous descent.
Our present culture and traditions were impacted by the coming together of these two separate and distinct cultures.
In the same way, in order to understand our identity as Christians we must also understand our past so that we can understand our present.
No one is born a Christian.
No one is born saved.
We are all born under the curse of sin.
We are all born as fallen sons and daughters of Adam.
The Word of God is clear:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
pues todos han pecado y están privados de la gloria de Dios,
This is the natural state of man. The Bible declares all men as dead in their sins and trespasses.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
En otro tiempo ustedes estaban muertos en sus transgresiones y pecados,
As we come to the las chapter in Paul’s letter to Titus we are able to consider:
I. Our past
I. Our past
I. Nuestro pasado
I. Nuestro pasado
Paul speaks about our past in the following terms:
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
En otro tiempo también nosotros éramos necios y desobedientes. Estábamos descarriados y éramos esclavos de todo género de pasiones y placeres. Vivíamos en la malicia y en la envidia. Éramos detestables y nos odiábamos unos a otros.
These sins characterized our lives before coming to the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We were disobedient, we were slaves to the desires of our flesh, we were filled with hate for one another.
It is possible that we did not commit each and every sin mentioned. Nevertheless, what is clear is that our lives were marked by disobedience to God’s holy law.
Why were we disobedient? Why did we sin against God?
We possess a fallen sinful nature which controls our desires and leads us to sin against the creator.
No one needed to teach us to sin. We were all very capable of lying, demonstrating envy, hate, lust, anger, etc. It is as if sin was part of our being.
Notice that these sins are not characteristics of a certain class of society or ethnicity.
We cannot say that only the uneducated and illiterate are capable of such actions.
We cannot say that certain people groups are more prone to sin against God than others.
We also cannot say that people of certain ages are more prone to sin (e.g., seniors vs. young people).
The truth of the matter is that the sinful nature affects every single human being that has existed upon the earth. The only exception is our Lord Jesus Christ who being born of a virgin did not inherit a sinful nature.
All of us who are born of a woman, through means of natural relations, have inherited a sinful nature which given enough time will rebel against its creator.
God could have left us on our own and we would have been justly condemned. God had no obligation towards his creation to deliver us from our sinful state.
God was under no compulsion to save those who were his enemies.
However, God demonstrated his life towards the world in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Pero cuando se manifestaron la bondad y el amor de Dios nuestro Salvador, él nos salvó, no por nuestras propias obras de justicia sino por su misericordia. Nos salvó mediante el lavamiento de la regeneración y de la renovación por el Espíritu Santo, el cual fue derramado abundantemente sobre nosotros por medio de Jesucristo nuestro Salvador. Así lo hizo para que, justificados por su gracia, llegáramos a ser herederos que abrigan la esperanza de recibir la vida eterna.
These verses describe perfectly the work of God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When Jesus Christ arrived on the scene - God’s kindness and love arrived!
God was demonstrating his kindness and love by sending his Son to an evil sinful humanity.
God sent his Son knowing that humanity could not save itself through human works.
Our good works could never satisfy God’s just wrath because of our sin.
Our good works are always tainted by our sinful nature.
Jesus Christ’s death on the cross secured for our God’s work of rebirth/renewal by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God makes us to be born again by the power of his Spirit.
We are new creatures in Christ Jesus.
God does not simply modify our behavior or give us religion. He literally gives us a new life through his Son.
It is for this reason the Apostle Paul can say:
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
El que robaba, que no robe más, sino que trabaje honradamente con las manos para tener qué compartir con los necesitados.
II. Our present
II. Our present
II. Nuestro presente
II. Nuestro presente
Our present state is no longer of rebellious sinners, children of wrath, or enemies of God. We are now children of God.
This is our present identity. Paul calls us to live in accordance with our new identify. Paul’s counsel to Titus is to show specific areas where we demonstrate the new life we have in Christ.
As born-again children of God we are called to submit to rules and authorities:
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
Recuérdales a todos que deben mostrarse obedientes y sumisos ante los gobernantes y las autoridades. Siempre deben estar dispuestos a hacer lo bueno:
We are called to respect rules and authorities.
We are called to pray for them that they may be given wisdom from God.
We are called also to respect rules and authority in the various areas of our life: school, work, the home, etc...
We are called to treat people rightly:
to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
a no hablar mal de nadie, sino a buscar la paz y ser respetuosos, demostrando plena humildad en su trato con todo el mundo.
We know all people, men and woman, are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with respect.
We should be careful of how we speak about people.
We should maintain peace with others.
We should be gentle.
Is this difficult? Extremely! We treat our friends well - but this also applies to those who do evil against us. This is an ongoing challenge for all people.
However, we are not on our own and are not called to live this way through our own power - we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to live this way.
There are many people who claim to have the Holy Spirit of God saying they prophecy, have dreams and visions, heal the sick, etc…and yet do not live at peace with people. The power of God’s Spirit is not demonstrated through these “signs and wonders” but rather in how we treat others, especially those who treat us wrongly.
Our new life in Christ should be characterized by a life of good works.
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Este mensaje es digno de confianza, y quiero que lo recalques, para que los que han creído en Dios se empeñen en hacer buenas obras. Esto es excelente y provechoso para todos.
We do not do good works to be saved.
We do not do good works to be loved by God.
We do good works as a response to God’s grace.
We do good works as a natural consequence of God’s work of salvation in our lives.
How us your life characterized? Do you still live in the works of verse 3 or do you live according to the new life you have recieved in Christ?
Do you know people that claim to be Christians but do not live in accordance with their profession?
Do you say you believe in Christ but find yourself constantly sinning against God?
Do you find yourself backsliding and turning towards the world?
This is nothing new. All throughout the history of the people of God there have been those who have lost their way, who have lost their affection and zeal for the Lord Jesus Christ and turned away from him.
Today is the day to repent. Today is the day to be at peace with God. God will hear a penitent heart that comes to him with sincerity.
We should not be ashamed to come to God and ask for forgiveness. God has abundant grace sufficient to cleanse us from all of our sin if we would come to him and ask for forgiveness.